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GUIDE: AUTHENTICATING A BACKGROUND CHECK FROM WITHIN KOREA
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Ut videam



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: GUIDE: AUTHENTICATING A BACKGROUND CHECK FROM WITHIN KOREA Reply with quote

(Mods, may I humbly suggest that this information merits a sticky?)

Background

On March 24, Korean Immigration announced several revisions to the E-2 visa regulations in order to simplify the process. The English translation of the announcement was posted on April 1. One of the changes regarded the authentication requirements for criminal background checks:
Quote:
In order to improve the documentation system for an E-2 visa applicants who got the criminal record certificate issued from his/her home country while staying in Korea or came to Korea imminently without proper Apostille certification, the verification of the consul in Korea on the criminal record certificate will be also regarded as valid.
(http://www.immigration.go.kr/HP/IMM80/imm_09/focus.jsp)

The problem with this is that many of the embassies in Korea have stated that they cannot/will not authenticate a background check. They will notarize a legal declaration from the applicant stating that his/her background check is authentic. But there has been some question as to whether that notarized declaration will be acceptable to Immigration. Therefore, I sought further clarification by e-mail from Lee Dong-wook (이동욱) a Deputy Director (사무관) at the Korea Immigration Service, Ministry of Justice. He provided the following answers:
Quote:
An affidavit or statutory declaration with regard to the criminal record check (attached) notarized by one's embassy in Korea is sufficient to authenticate a background check.
(http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?p=1584905#1584905)
Quote:
But nowadays, we(KIS) are accepting all the notarization from the embassies here in Korea. For example, an American citizen can go to the American embassy and make a self-declaratory statement in front of the consular officer there.
(http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?p=1590259#1590259)

This reliably establishes the acceptability of a consular-notarized declaration to authenticate a background check.

Procedure

The procedure for authenticating a background check at your home country's embassy in Korea is generally the same for all applicants. The only major differences arise in the name and format of the legal statement used.

For Canadian citizens, the legal form is called a statutory declaration. The Canadian Embassy in Seoul spells out the procedure on their website:
Quote:
For criminal record check, RCMP or local police certificate will be acceptable. Once a police certificate is received, one has to bring it to the Canadian Embassy in Seoul or to the Honorary Consulate in Busan with a statutory declaration (The form can be obtained both at the Embassy and at the Consulate) to have it notarised.
(http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/world/embassies/korea/menu-en.asp, "Korea tightens visa rules for foreign instructors")

For American citizens, the process is similar, but the legal form is an affidavit. Once you receive the background check (issued by federal, state, or local authorities per Immigration regs), bring it to the U.S. Embassy and ask to fill out an affidavit—they have blank forms available. On that affidavit, you will state that you obtained the attached background check from (name of agency), and that the attached document is authentic, true, correct, unaltered, etc. Attach your background check to that form, sign it before the consular officer, and have them notarize it. The fee is $30.00. (http://seoul.usembassy.gov/notarial_services.html, "Administration of Oath")

Contacts

If you encounter any difficulties in this process, there are several points of contact available to assist you.

At the U.S. Embassy, Mr. Hale VanCoughnett is familiar with Korean Immigration's regulations and has been in contact with them regarding this matter.

If a local immigration office is reluctant to accept a background check authenticated by this method, contact Mr. Namil Choi (최남일) at the Korea Immigration Service. According to Mr. Lee at Immigration, Mr. Choi's opinion is the final word on E-2 visa matters—he trumps the officers in the branch offices. His office number is (02) 500-9068.
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John Henry



Joined: 24 Sep 2004

PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to be a jerk, but can anyone actually confirm that this works? Esp. with the Busan immi?
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Ut videam



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody who did it: http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?p=1606771#1606771

More details: http://forums.eslcafe.com/korea/viewtopic.php?p=1608124#1608124
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sugarcookie



Joined: 11 Apr 2008

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I heard from a recruiter that some foreigners getting E2 visas got their criminal background check in Korea at a police station. Has anybody heard about this?

I have lived in Korea for about 4 years. Before coming here, I was in the US for a semester until I graduated. Before that I was in France/Korea through a study abroad program for a year.

I'm not even sure that I count as a resident of my state. I lived abroad most of my life. O.o

Can anybody help?

This background check is a really big hastle. The transcript in a sealed envelope is no biggie now.

If anybody have more information about this, I would really appreciate the help.

THANKS
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chewbacca



Joined: 18 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i found this quite helpful. hope it works. i'm getting my state check soon. thanks!
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Julius



Joined: 27 Jul 2006

PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sugarcookie wrote:
I lived abroad most of my life. O.o


Snap.

I have a british passport, but have only lived 5 years of my life in Britain(I'm 35). And that was more than ten years ago.

However, that was long enough, because I registered as a citizen there at the county office when I first arrived in that country. Thus, They could furnish me with a criminal record check based on the short time I was there. I got a second national check, from the national police computer in London.

The British embassy in seoul notarized it, and this was acceptable for E2 purposes. I had previously had an E2 for which I had had to submit a notarised criminal check (from a public school a year earlier ).

This was back in early March. Things may have changed since.
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New Luck Toy



Joined: 19 Dec 2007
Location: Around the way.

PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2008 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am much closer to Busan than Seoul. Anyone know if the American Presence Post in Busan can issue an affadavit for a CRC? Thanks!
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Ut videam



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Luck Toy wrote:
I am much closer to Busan than Seoul. Anyone know if the American Presence Post in Busan can issue an affadavit for a CRC? Thanks!

They can, but only when Consular Services is visiting from Seoul to provide American citizen services.

According to the May newsletter from the embassy, their next visit is actually today (May 20th) and tomorrow (May 21st). Tomorrow, the 21st, they'll be available from 9 am to noon.

BTW: It's a good idea to sign up for the Embassy's e-mail list in order to stay informed of things like this.
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chinook



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Location: canada

PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2008 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to this website http://www.immigration.go.kr/indeximmeng.html you don't need to get a criminal records check to reissue a visa if you are here on one? Does anyone know if this means just another E-2 visa or another one with the exact same school?
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DongtanTony



Joined: 22 Feb 2008
Location: Bundang

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just went to the US Embassy today...

The info here is spot on...the sworn affidavit was extremely easy.

Now we'll just have to see what happens with Korean Immigration...but I'm not expecting any problems.

Great info UT videam...thanks for doing the leg work.
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missionshk



Joined: 09 May 2007

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been out of the USA for 21 years, and I am a permanent resident of Hong Kong. I have no state of residency at all in the USA.

How am I going to get a CRC?
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traveler81



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Location: Byeongjeom, Gyeonggi-do

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

missionshk wrote:
I have been out of the USA for 21 years, and I am a permanent resident of Hong Kong. I have no state of residency at all in the USA.

How am I going to get a CRC?


Get a CRC from the FBI its national so you don't need to be a resident of any particular state.
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greedy_bones



Joined: 01 Jul 2007
Location: not quite sure anymore

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure this has been asked before, but since I don't see this in this thread, here goes.

Under the updated system, is a notary public enough for someone residing in Korea, or can you only use the embassy or apostille? The reason I'm asking is because I have a notarized CRC, and can't get to the embassy during office hours.
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Ut videam



Joined: 07 Dec 2007
Location: Pocheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

greedy_bones wrote:
I'm sure this has been asked before, but since I don't see this in this thread, here goes.

Under the updated system, is a notary public enough for someone residing in Korea, or can you only use the embassy or apostille? The reason I'm asking is because I have a notarized CRC, and can't get to the embassy during office hours.

A simple notarization by a U.S. notary public is NOT enough.

The notarization must be confirmed by an apostille, OR you must swear an affidavit at the embassy attesting to the CRC's authenticity, and have that affidavit notarized by a consular official.
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Young FRANKenstein



Joined: 02 Oct 2006
Location: Castle Frankenstein (that's FRONKensteen)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John Henry wrote:
Not to be a jerk, but can anyone actually confirm that this works?

It does re: Canadian emassy. I made my appointment for the afternoon, and I was in and out of there in 5 minutes (but ~W40,000 poorer)
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